"The desert shall ... blossom as the rose"

Wayfarers traveling through semiarid regions are impressed by the profusion and variety of cacti. They spread across the mesa, peep from the fissures of rocky eminences, and stand upon the barren hillsides like majestic sentinels. To the casual observer they seem to conform to and accentuate the surrounding barrenness; but to those acquainted with the region they give promise of a glorious day when, coaxed by the brilliant desert sun of early summer, they shall have burst into blossom. The desert is then no longer forbidding; for like flaming torches these gorgeous flowers bedeck the rocky slopes and convert the sun-baked sands into a garden of various hues. Cheered and inspired by their loveliness, the thoughtful traveler is perhaps reminded of Isaiah's beautiful prophecy of gladness and prosperity: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon."

As one beholds the diversity and beauty of these desert flowers which change their unalluring environs into loveliness, one may ponder these words of Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 247): "Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness." Beautiful words! And how they elevate thought to the spiritual apprehension of the loveliness of Life and Love!

Does not the untransformed desert illustrate the material concept of life and environment? Viewed materially, opportunity seems to be fleeting, good capricious, and life a mystery. Mortals are thus disposed mournfully to accept an unattractive environment of which they believe themselves to be the victims.

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Walking by Faith
May 28, 1932

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